Prostate Cancer Survivors






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Constipation after surgery

Hi there,

I just had a radical prostratecomy five days ago. Since the surgery I have not had a bowl movement, although I am still able to pass gas. I know I can not have an enema or use suppositories, but I am start to feel quite a bit of discomfort. Also I have been using stool softener to no effect. I was hoping somebody might have an suggestion in order to help resolve my problem.


Re: Constipation after surgery

Hi Ken,

I have not had a radical prostatectomy, and so I have no first-hand experience with the post surgery bowel movement problems that you talk about (and that I have read about before). Still, I may be able to help, and that believe is sufficient enough for me to try. I used to have consistent constipation problems, and even a consult with a gastroenterologist yielded nothing that was of any help to me. Today, though, I have a regular bowel movement, around the same time every morning, like clockwork. So, here is what I now take daily to stay regular. At lunch, I take a 327 mg probiotic; at dinner, I take two 100 mg stool softeners; and at 9 PM, I eat five prunes. Plus, in my diet I eat the recommended daily allowance of fiber.

I hope this helps. Good luck.

Be well,
Alan M in the USA

Re: Constipation after surgery

Ken and Alan,

As one who has not only had his prostate out but had the bladder removed at the same time, I have some relevant experience. In my view the problem lies with the anaesthetics in use. They nearly all cause constipation (as does being bedridden for a day or two). I left hospital five days after my surgery and I was only just (about ten minutes before I left the ward and after a couple of suppositories!) able to empty my bowels. Before that I had the wind you had experienced and which I guess everyone gets. It took a couple of weeks for me to get over the anaesthetic fully and I made use of a soluble powder called Movicol on a pretty regular basis but at just one sachet a day rather than the two recommended. It sorted me out fairly quickly. In fact for other reasons, I still make use of this gentle product.

Good Luck

OC in England